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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Working and measuring

This morning, in Vancouver, I'm reworking a story on Metrics for the SMPS Marketer. When I wrote the original story on deadline a few months ago, the people I interviewed said no one had recently completed surveys on how many marketers are actually measuring their results. Marketing consultant Sally Handley in fact said she believes fewer than 10 per cent are measuring their success.

Handley decided to do a survey and discovered that the number is closer to 38 per cent (admittedly through a self-selection process) though it is another story to know how consistently and effectively they are applying their measuring methodologies. These results are reflected as well in a separate survey by Leslie Sluger at Wals Studios in Washington, D.C.

In a phone interview this morning, Handley says most marketers are still measuring the basic and simple things, like the "hit rate" (percentage of proposals that turn into business), though some are getting more sophisticated. She says that marketers who discover the value of the simple measurements, are learning that more sophisticated information enhances their ability to justify marketing budgets because if they can clearly trace results and success from their efforts, they are more than "voodoo" and much less subject to arbitrary budget cutbacks.

So at a Starbucks in Vancouver a few hours before attending the wedding of one of my nieces, I am rebuilding the story, setting the stage as well for a more thorough follow-up piece where I expect to interview several marketers and pull together a comprehensive, strategic approach to solve the metrics challenge.

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